For all the unquestionable beauty of our ubiquitous natural surroundings, even the Front Range and Garden of the Gods can become hard to truly see. Like “THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA” in Don Delillo’s novel White Noise, the local scenery can become little more than advertisements for long-held ideas about the local scenery:

“Once you’ve seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn.”

He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others.

We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies.”

There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.

“Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We’ve agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism.”

Another silence ensued.

“They are taking pictures of taking pictures,” he said.

He did not speak for a while. We listened to the incessant clicking of shutter release buttons, the rustling crank of levers that advanced the film.

“What was the barn like before it was photographed?” he said.

We found ourselves wondering the same thing about our landscape as we wandered through Garden of the Gods on a warm, late afternoon last week as the sun was just about to drop behind Pikes Peak and we caught some lens flare while trying not to focus. Perhaps the incredible bulk of America’s Mountain wants to be a telepathic cyclops for Halloween, or a light science fiction afternoon.

 

4 Responses to Return to Space Mountain

  1. sean says:

    no words.

  2. atomic elroy says:

    Excellent video.

  3. marc says:

    Gorgeous. Thank you for making and sharing this. Sweet n spooky sentimental simulacra!!

  4. chris fiedler says:

    gorgeous work noel! simply stunning.

News

MCT /Landov
February 28, 2015 | WFSU · In the past decade, the number of bear-related calls Florida wildlife officials have received has increased by 400 percent. To stop the rise in bear population, officials have agreed to start hunting.
 

February 28, 2015 | NPR · In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR’s Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
 

February 28, 2015 | NPR · Congress will fund the Department of Homeland Security for one more week. Political correspondent Mara Liasson talks with NPR’s Arun Rath about the politics of the battles being waged by congressional Republicans.
 

Arts & Life

The CW
February 28, 2015 | NPR · Women and minorities continue to be under-represented on TV and in film, both behind and in front of the camera, according to a new study — even though diverse films and shows make more money.
 

Courtesy of FOX
February 28, 2015 | NPR · Back in 1987, Nancy Cartwright made a risky, last-minute decision during an audition: Instead of trying out for the part of mild-mannered Lisa Simpson, she went for the role of rebellious Bart.
 

Reuters/Landov
February 28, 2015 | NPR · The planned reopening was moved up following the release of a video showing self-declared Islamic State extremists destroying priceless ancient artifacts in the Mosul museum.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 28, 2015 | NPR · The electronic artist’s new album, Gliss Riffer, is his most accesible yet. In a conversation with Arun Rath, he waxes philosophic on stress, technology and the value of a wandering mind.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 28, 2015 | NPR · From Lana Del Rey to Father John Misty, musicians in the current pop moment who expose themselves, warts and all, do so in isolation, without support or challenge from a like-minded community.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 28, 2015 | NPR · A Californian by way of North Dakota, with a voice that belies his gender, the singer-songwriter takes pride in being hard to pin down.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab